The advertisement for a new Gwinnett County Public Schools superintendent will show the county’s school board prefers to find someone who has experience leading a district that is similar to Georgia’s largest school system.
Board members approved the advertisement during a called meeting Thursday night. The Georgia School Boards Association is expected to post the advertisement soon and the application window is set to last until mid-May, according to a presentation that GSBA officials made to the board at the meeting.
“I think that this search is going to yield a tremendous number of candidates where we will have so many that we will be in the position of being able to chose awesome folks and ask really rigorous questions,” board Chairman Everton Blair said.
One of the only changes board members made to the proposed advertisement, however, was to drop a part that dealt with preferred experience.
It originally said the board wanted to hire someone who either had a proven record of success as a superintendent in a school system with “similar demographics and variables” to Gwinnett or someone with comparable chief executive officer experience in the private sector.
The change dropped the reference to comparable experience in the private sector, but left a proven track record of success as a superintendent in a district similar to Gwinnett as a preference.
“Now, that won’t preclude somebody who is a private sector CEO from applying,” Blair said. “It just removes the preferential consideration of that role.”
School board member Tarece Johnson said she favored making the part about having experience as a superintendent as a preference instead of a requirement in case there were assistant or associate superintendents who wanted to apply.
“Certainly a sitting superintendent would be preferred, but there may be some opportunities that we don’t know yet of someone else who may be certainly very talented as well,” Johnson said.
Blair said he was OK with making past experience as a superintendent a preference, but added he was personally leaning toward picking someone who has already been a superintendent.
“I actually do strongly prefer a superintendent who has sitting superintendent experience,” he told Johnson. “I treat all of this as kind of a composite or a conglomerate and so if there are candidates who have that, I’m going to chose those candidates.
“So, I hear what you’re saying about not wanting to leave people out of consideration and I just offer that, at the end of the day, we’re going to be making decisions on a sample that we don’t yet know. I’m comfortable about moving this to the ‘preferred’ (category) if the majority of us would support that, and I want us to recognize that it’s (probably not) going to change who I end up picking at the end of the day.”
The ad also states the board is looking for someone who understands instructional leadership and can show they have, in the past, put in place “research-based best practices in teaching and learning, curriculum, instructional administration, assessment, English learning and educational equity that promotes each student’s academic success and social and emotional well-being.”
A community input survey is expected to be made available online.